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Archive for October, 2007

From the Heart

This week I began reading JI Packers book, “Knowing God” for the.. umm….. third time. You would think it would have sunk in by now. I have noticed lately that the busyness of life and the constant go go go of our culture has really sapped the joy out of my life. In essence, I had forgotten what it was like to really “Know God”.

I think the desire within me to experience more in my life and in my walk with God has driven me to read Packers words of wisdom yet again, and to be reminded what a joy it is to Know God, not just know about God.

In Chapter 3, Piper suggests that we can only know someone as much as they allow themselves to be known. Our job is to listen and welcome their input to foster that trusting environment so they can feel comfortable opening up and thus allowing themselves to be known.

After thinking about this for a few moments, this really struck me as I realized that what Packer is saying here, is in essence, our modus operandi for our ministry in France. We have to earn the trust and respect of our community and demonstrate to them that they can trust us and be open with us.

The verse that says Man plans his ways, but God directs his steps, seems to be in play here as well. God will open the doors of relationships for us to pursue with the French, but we must provide such an environment of trust, respect, and good will for the French to CHOOSE to accept it and open up to us… and ultimately open up to God.

God can and will direct a man’s steps and lead him to us, but ultimately, its a man’s decision to choose what path he will take, and whether or not he will open up and allow himself to be known.

How daunting then is our task, to be continually aware of this and see to it that we are above reproach against those who would purposefully antagonize or discourage us, who would go out of their way to sabotage or mar our integrity and trustworthiness.

Pray that we would be above reproach and in good standing with all men that those who would oppose us would be exposed for who they are and that our integrity and relationship with the people would remain intact.

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OK, Pat, no fair stealing my title. I just breezed your latest blog to make sure I had all my info right (yes, this is a note to the rest of you that our teammates Kevin & Pat are the ones who really know what’s going on), and there was my title! Aahh, oh well.

Anywho, it looks like we have a 5th teammate!! Joe Hartsell comes to us from the great state of Iowa. He & our other teammates, Kevin & Pat, attend the same church in Norwalk, IA. The 3 of them went on a 3-week scouting trip to France & returned to the States 3 weeks ago (how’s that for spiritual).

Throughout that trip Joe (and Kevin & Pat & Chad & Traci…) was asking the Lord where He wanted him to serve in missions. By the end of the trip, Joe made the courageous decision to join OUR team. We’re going to be sure he signs on the dotted line before he gets to know us too well – ha!! Welcome aboard, Joe, we are so encouraged!

You can get to know Joe by reading his blog.

One great idea that the 3 of them came up with is to use the arts not only to help people begin a relationship with Christ, but to help them grow deep with Him. I’m not an artist – I love books, love raw study. But I sympathize with the creatively inclined.

What would it look like if an artistic disciple and myself studied the Scripture together, discussed it, then the disciple made an artistic rendition of the lesson? Can you imagine how much more memorable that lesson would be for her? And what if that artistic rendition were then used in a neighboring church to help the pastor illustrate that same passage? What if it were used by the disciple in her efforts to communicate the Gospel to her friends? What IF!!!

I see a TON of potential for this idea. What do you all think?

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Support Update

Just a short entry here to give you all an update on our support goal.

We are excited to say that we just received an unexpected monthly commitment which brings us ohhhh, soooo close to 20% of committed financial support.

Please pray for us this month as we have several new appointments with folks to share with them about this exciting ministry opportunity. We have one tonight (Tuesday), one Friday night, and one on the 29th.

We are praising God that He has brought these appointments along as we continue to trust Him to provide everything we need for life and godliness. 😉

In other news, Traci and I have begun a 16 week study at our local church. We are going through Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University”. So far, it has been VERY helpful in getting us re-focused with our finances. We are working really hard to be completely debt free in 6 months! If you would like to learn more about Dave Ramsey or to go through this study yourself, here is his link Financial Peace University

Gotta run for now, we have a support appointment to go to! 🙂

Chad and Traci

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Imago Dei Art Show

We are excited to be a part of a month long art exhibition here in Kansas City presented by Imago Dei. Imago Dei (Image of God) is a nationwide creative arts ministry that started here in Kansas City at a local church.

We welcome you to join us this Friday night, October 5th at 6:30pm for the reception and awards ceremony. Come for the art, or just come to say hi, we would love to see you there!

Unfortunately, we missed last years show, but we are looking forward to participating in this years exhibition that runs the whole month of October at St. Michaels All Angels Episcopal Church. View Map

Below are the two pieces of Chad’s that were accepted into the show. We also took this opportunity to rent a booth at the reception and awards ceremony so that we could meet new folks and hopefully share a little bit with them about our long term goals with CrossWorld and creative arts in France.

King: This photo was one I took on a photographers field trip to the Omaha Zoo. It was a cold day and I had to shoot through a 6 inch pane of glass, but you would never know. This image is a new favorite of mine!

King

Prairie Winds: This photo was taken on my first trip to the National Tallgrass Prairie Reserve near Manhattan Kansas. It still amazes me how I was at just the right spot at just the right time!

Prairie Winds

Come see these beautifully framed images at the Imago Dei Art Show this Friday night, October 5th. We will be at the Church (listed above) at 6:30pm. See you there!

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